The Independent (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,512 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Lemonade
Lowest review score: 20 Unleash the Love
Score distribution:
1512 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These 10 songs are like soundings from between the cracks, faint echoes from an inveterate wanderer whose revulsion at our anthropocentric ruination of the world leads him to ever-darker places.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The opening “Rebel” sets the tone with a country-style tale of how a good-hearted man’s attempt to live up to his father’s ideals backfires to leave him a criminal, losing his beloved’s respect and affection in the process. From there, the journey swings between ebullient celebrations of life and sombre tales of misfortune, with the shadow of Springsteen looming large over songwriter Eric Earley’s material.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    REM’s brooding masterwork. ... It’s an album of shadows and contrasts: “Drive”, for instance, opens proceedings on the cusp of adulthood, imparting youthful rebel spirit with a warning sense of duty for the future, before “Try Not To Breathe” offers an extraordinary image of an old person eager to leave the world to the young.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Moments after hearing “Best 4 You”, with its slimline groove and sleek falsetto chorus, I can’t remember a trace of its melody or theme: it was just there, and then not there. It’s an experience repeated throughout Red Pill Blues.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the U2-style arena-rock impressions that dogged Keep The Village Alive persist in places here, elsewhere Scream Above The Sounds finds Kelly Jones in more reflective mood, resulting in a more appealing balance of head and heart overall.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Smith’s voice remains a thing of wonder throughout.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    His facility with the form is evident on songs like “Easy To Love”, which aptly has the smooth, easy manner of a standard, and more dramatically with “On The Waterfront”, which renders solitude in epic fashion. ... Elsewhere, he reverts to form with the rolling blues arrangement of “Love This Way”, with his signature piano to the fore, and terse blues guitar punctuating his account of being “lost inside the darkness and the howling wind”.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though obviously sincere and heartfelt, Gregory Porter’s tribute to his greatest influence falls a touch short in some cases. His voice, while smooth and warm, lacks the silky, creamy timbre of Cole’s on “Mona Lisa”, and on some songs he sounds more like Kurt Elling or Sammy Davis Jr.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Irish folk quartet Lankum’s second album offers an object lesson in how to perform old songs in new ways, without losing the essential sense of continuity that gives traditional music its timeless appeal.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When the funk gets this good, with a relaxed, propulsive charm that belies the P-Funk density of the arrangements, why bother modernising?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Musically it’s pleasant enough, with string and wind flourishes either emboldening or offering solace from the folk-rock arrangements; but it’s all a bit samey, and after a while, rather dull.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The limp, autotuned love song “Happy” and drearily positivist “Good Morning” are lazy nods to the mainstream, but elsewhere Wretch is better served by the dark sparkle of arrangements featuring grimy sub-bass synths and itchy electro beats tinted with eerie vocal samples, thumb-piano and synthetic pan-pipes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Lyrically, Horan pushes no envelopes, sticking to earnest love plaints and poignant reminiscences for the most part, and even offering to listen to his girl’s problems in “Fire Away”.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s a revelatory affair, bringing a fresh, raw focus to brilliant songs steeped in lust, death and loss with a blend of sly rockabilly and blues-tinged country-rock.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The piquant combination of Morrissey’s blithe aloofness and double-edged, acidly humorous lyrics with Johnny Marr’s endlessly inventive, precociously African-influenced guitar parts was rarely more effective than here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This collection of re-recorded themes confirms his keen attention to mood and tonal colour, though the alterations are sometimes irritating--notably the itchily urgent percussion track rattling along beneath the familiar keyboard motif of Halloween.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Secure behind the protective pop wall erected by producers such as Max Martin and the ubiquitous Greg Kurstin, there’s little room for originality here. Which may be for the best, given the mid-album limpness imposed by the gratingly wistful, cello-draped childhood yearning of “Barbies”, which oozes insincerity. Pink’s on safer ground riding the pumping pop-funk of “Secrets” and the title-track.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ken
    A set of songs seething with dark knowledge, as Bejar peeks behind the curtain of appearances in search of underlying motivations.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A masterclass in modernist antiquity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Grizzled Americana veteran Ray Wylie Hubbard cooks up a steamy stew of voodoo magick and rock’n’roll mythos on Tell The Devil I’m Gettin’ There As Fast As I Can, a title whose droll self-deprecation is reflected in the weary sprechstimme style with which Hubbard delivers his narratives, homages and sermons.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With the skirling, Arabic-tinged drone-rock textures of his band The Space Shifters augmented by cello and Seth Lakeman’s violin, the album’s miasmic charm imbues even the rockabilly standard “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” with new, mysterious depths.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brilliantly-realised evocation of addiction building to crisis-point before the inevitable comedown heralds a change in priorities, it gives some idea of what Clark herself may be building towards.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    All told, it’s pretty crowded territory, with too many jams.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even when required to accommodate passing trends like mambo or funk, Hooker’s blues simply bent a little, but never broke. Its atavistic power, he knew, resided in its hypnotic grip, which effectively crystallised rock’n’roll years before the style was recognised.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    JD McPherson’s Let The Good Times Roll was one of the most joyously unvarnished rock’n’roll delights of recent times, and this follow-up continues that album’s ingenious blending of heritage and modernity, sometimes recalling The Black Keys’ reliable way with chunky groove and quirky hook.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Following the largely insipid twinklings of his Beady Eye, As You Were suggests that, given the right conditions and appropriate collaborators, Liam Gallagher could become a more potent force than expected--especially if he could broaden his musical outlook beyond such predictable parameters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An elegant, understated pop masterpiece.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Van’s fellow Brit-blues icons Georgie Fame, Chris Farlowe and Paul Jones take turns to duet, in a relaxed manner which exemplifies the overall mood: comfortable rather than inspirational.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [“Monkey Bizness” is] the most animated Ubu has been in ages, with an atmosphere of vertiginous dark energy accreting around the jagged guitar riff of “Red Eyed Blues”, while even the slower, more subdued melancholia of “The Healer” wields a strangely sinister poignancy as a desolate Thomas regretfully confesses, “I see too much”. But what visions!
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In truth, the move towards country music made on Younger Now is fraught with potholes that she and producer Oren Yoel rarely manage to avoid. The main problem is the half-heartedness of the move.